I could have sworn I'd 'Blogged about the first episode of this OVA, but apparently not, so I'll roll it in together with episode two of this follow-up to the successfully (and it has to be said, extremely good) Kimi ga Nozomu Eien.
This OVA is supposedly meant to follow the 'Haruka route' from the game the original anime was spawned from, and indeed its first episode follows Haruka upon her discharge from hospital after three years in a coma, as her and Takayuki look to continue the relationship they started not long before the accident that caused her coma all those years before. However, those years of waiting have taken their toll on his ability to find a job, and the episode ends with Haruka pushing him away, parting them for at least the time being so that they can get their own lives in order.
Episode two of the OVA switches its attentions largely to Mitsuki, who regales us with her story of everything that happened from the very start (why not make the recap episode one of the series?), right through to the present day that sees her sharing a flat with another former swimming club member in Tokyo.
While it's great to see all of the characters from Kimi ga Nozomu Eien once again, you can't help but shake the feeling that there's something missing this time around. Perhaps the series needs a bit of time to grow, but these first two episodes have seen plenty of monologuing without ever really engaging the viewer - There just isn't the emotional spark there that made the original series so watchable and capable of drawing you into its morally impossible world.
My soft spot for the original series is probably giving Next Season a bit of a free pass, but I still get the feeling that there's plenty of potential in this show. It'll have to start blossoming soon if it wants to avoid looking like a half-hearted effort however.